Tag Archives: sex workers

Stories of sex-workers in Heera Mandi, Lahore and beyond

Posted by Raza Rumi

A TV journalist prepared this bold documentary for a news channel but it was never aired for obvious reasons – electronic media remains conservative about taboo subjects. The documentary provides great insights into the way women live, work and identify themselves as sex-workers in Lahore’s oldest red-light district known as Heera Mandi (Diamond Market) ironically next to the great Badshahi mosque. Coverage of Multan in the later parts is also interesting.

The narrator obviously has his biases – the usual refrain of middle class Muslims of the subcontinent – but he tries hard to remain neutral and investigative. There is a good dose of Mujras inserted into the series for the viewers; and tit bits of the Hollywood/Bollywood melodrama on the oppressed ‘tawaif’ (prostitute). Whilst tragedies bring these women to the sex-trade, not all of them lament their lives. If anything, Mirza Ruswa’s Umrao Jan (way back in the nineteenth century) was pretty comfortable and empowered by her profession. Similarly, one of the interviewees says: “money is the father, mother and everything for tawaifs”. The head of Kanjar biradri says that girls are taught to be ‘men’, earning ‘horses’ fooling their clients! Not to be missed.

My favourite is the ‘client’ who confesses how intoxicating it is to be “in love” with a sex worker. One gets tired of ‘using’ a wife all the time he says. Wish this documentary had been aired.

The language of these videos is Urdu so it might not be accessible to all the visitors here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyRYGczqsQo&feature=related Continue reading

LAHORE: Marginalised male sex workers vulnerable to HIV/AIDS


Photo: Tariq Saeed/IRIN
A significant number of masseurs working in Lahore are actually male sex workers

Source Mazaqah

LAHORE, 21 September 2006 (IRIN) – Under the illuminated Minar-e-Pakistan, the towering monument that marks the birth of the country, Pervaiz Din lays out the accessories of his trade. The tiny bottles of massage oil and aromatic colognes tinkle cheerfully as he pulls them out of a cloth bag and sets them out on a tray. Through much of the balmy September night, Pervaiz will await customers who seek a soothing roadside massage, a head rub – or something more.

“Some nights I get lucky. I get two or even three ‘good customers’ and I return home happy,” Pervaiz tells IRIN.

The ‘good’ customers he refers to are men who seek sex and will pay less than US $8 or so for a few hours with Pervaiz. They also pay for the room usually rented out in a cheap, ‘bazaar’ hotel, although some take him to the rooms or apartments in which they live.

“I have some ‘regulars’ who drop by several times a month. They really enjoy my services,” Pervaiz said.

Pervaiz is one of the hundreds of male sex workers (MSWs) in Lahore, the teeming capital of the Punjab province, and with a population of 8 million Pakistan’s second largest city after Karachi. Beneath its lush trees, and the domes and minarets of the Mughal buildings scattered across its older parts, scores of MSWs operate. Continue reading

Alarming: Half of Lahore population drinks water with faecal contents

From Khaleej Times onlineLAHORE — Half of Lahore population has been drinking water having faecal contents, and even those living in the so-called posh areas are no exception.

 

 

According to a report of the Institute of Public Health, waste discharged from bowels (faeces) has been found in about half of the drinking water samples collected from almost all parts of Lahore. The samples tested by the institute were sent to it by different agencies including the city district government during the first two weeks of the month. IPH’s Epidemiologist Prof. Farkhanda Kokab says the institute had tested some 92 drinking water samples between May 1 and 15 and found faeces in 43 of them. “The presence of faeces in potable water is very dangerous and alarming. The authorities concerned must take a serious note of it and do the needful,” she said and maintained that posh areas were no exception in this case. “The best solution to ensure the cleanliness of drinking water is to boil it,” she suggested.

Because of the poor quality of water being provided by the government agency, people are switching over to bottled water. The number of bottled water users is going up by the day and the number of such companies is also on the rise. The price of 1.5 litre bottle of water is Rs 30, or equivalent to one litre of milk. This price is about 70 per cent of the soft drink of the same size. Time is not far off when the water, milk and soft drinks will be available at about the same price. Continue reading